Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hereafter

Movie name: Hereafter
Year of release: 2010
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Matt Damon, Cecile de France, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, Frankie McLaren, George McLaren, Richard Kind, Thierry Neuvic, Marthe Keller, Derek Jacobi
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Synopsis:Clint Eastwood is back with his yearly film, following the well received "Invictus. Reuniting with Peter Morgan, the writer of films such as "The Queen", "Frost/Nixon" and "The Last King of Scotland", Eastwood tackles a different territory for him. The film introduces us to three main stories that finally intersect into one. George Lonegan is a psychic who has stopped doing readings since his talent of looking into the after-death was alienating him from having real relationships. Marie LeLay is a french journalist who while vacationing is one of the victims of the Tsunami and literally dies for some seconds, before being brought back. Her life and experiences change after that. Marcus and Jason are twins, extremely close living in London with their substance abuser of a mother. Upon the death of Jason, Marcus finds himself alone and in foster care, desperately trying to establish contact with his brother. All these characters end up interconnecting, through a series of random events in ways that bring a new direction to their lives.
Clint Eastwood is a director that allows actors to create believable characters. He allows the situations to develop and his attention to detail is always on every frame of his films. "Hereafter" is possibly one of the least expected themes in his work, since it focuses on the afterlife and the fantastic elements of the story seem removed from his usual work. But the main focus ends up being George, played with a quiet intensity by Matt Damon (who just keeps getting better and better). Like most of Eastwood's heroes, he's a man at odds with a reality where he doesn't fit anymore. Much like William Munny from "Unforgiven", George wants to have a quiet life, away from the "fame" he once had. He longs to meet someone and not feel labeled as a freak. The encounters that he has with the other characters, liberate him and give him a new hope. The film is anchored in the fine performances of the cast and a special highlight should be given to the special effects depicting the Tsunami. A very solid film from a master.

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